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Sunday, November 30, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge - Gift Giving Ideas for the Holiday Season

Gift giving ideas for the Holiday Season Blog Challenge

Gift giving season is here! Kids with CdLS can be challenging to buy gifts for. What gifts has your child received in the past that he or she has enjoyed, and what do you think you're child will want/need this season?

I would have to say one of Joey's favorite things he has received in the past is his CD player. It is just a small blue one that I got for about $15 at WalMart. We play CD's on it for him at night when he goes to bed. During the day, we have to unplug it and put it somewhere because he will pull it down off his his dresser and try to play with it. Let's just say it has been through a lot and has held up pretty well. He also likes his keyboards ~ he has 3 or 4 of them in different sizes and colors that he really enjoys. Lego's are also a big hit with him ~ or any type of building blocks. He loves wooden blocks too ~ he can stack 4 to 6 blocks himself and then laughs and claps his hands when he knocks them over. He has also received some books in the past ~ the kind that have the sound boards on the side that make noise when you press the picture. He likes these too.

This year for Christmas I am going to try to get him a Fisher Price Kid Tough DVD Player that I saw on a fellow CdLS family's blog. I think he would like this and it sounds like it could withstand a lot of action. I am also planning on getting him a new toy box for his room ~ hopefully some kind of Little Tikes one or something along those lines. He also needs a new hand held massager. His bit the dust a few weeks ago. Joey is not too picky ~ if it plays music, comes in a box, or is something he can climb on, he is a happy camper!

This would Joey's idea of the perfect Christmas gift! :o)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Answers revealed....

Welcome to the answer phase of What Is That Anyway? It seems I have frustrated a lot of you this week which is what I set out to do! LOL Just kidding! I honestly didn't realize how hard these pictures were to figure out ~ of course I am at an extreme advantage because I know the answers. My sly ways paid off this week because there is no one that got all 3 answers correct. Next week I'll be a little easier on you, I promise. Let's see....

Now I just knew somebody visiting the blog would get this one right ~ although she is at an extreme advantage too...Cris is Joey's PT. She is the only one to guess this pic exactly right. Way to go!!!!

It is a picture of Joey's AFO's! (The braces he wears on his feet ~ back view)

Now this next one most of you that attempted a guess on this one got it right....

It's a Bumble Ball! (One of Joey's favorite toys)

And for this one there was only one correct guess...and that was by Natalie. You go girl! Here it is again.....

It is a glass of ice water with most of the water gone....

Hope you all had fun playing along this week...I hope I didn't make any of you too angry (Ahem, Justine LOL). I also hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I will post more this weekend about our holiday. Right now I'm off to get the boys' hair cut. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Special Exposure/Not So Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to the fourth week of What Is That Anyway? Last week we had one person that guessed all three pictures right and the rest of you got two out of three correct. This week I have decided to go back to cheating and sneak in some slightly blurred photos in an attempt to stump you all once again.
Doesn't seem fair, does it? ;o) Sorry ~ I guess I am just a big old meanie once again! Last week I also hinted that I may have some Thanksgiving themed pictures but sadly this has been proven untrue. I tried to think of what Thanksgiving type things I could photograph but came up with nothing. I thought about going to Walmart or some other store and snapping some pics of food or fall decorations but I figured I would look like a huge idiot. But I suppose I wouldn't have looked any stupider than I did last week at the park taking pictures of benches and fire hydrants. A woman did walk past me when I was photographing the bench and gave me a strange look. Anyway, if you are joining us for the first time, the game is simple. Just look at the pictures, leave your guesses in the comments section and visit us again tomorrow when the answers are revealed. Although this week I probably won't get the results posted until Friday as we will be traveling for Thanksgiving. Here's this weeks pics for your viewing pleasure. Good luck!
(Oh yeah ~ I'm not giving out clues this week either. Sorry ~ but if you really study them they are a piece of cake!)

Nicholas Schurke

Sadly, we have received word of the sudden passing of Nicholas Schurke, a member of our extended CdLS Family. Our hearts are aching and our thoughts and prayers go out to his Mom, Dad, and little brother and also to the rest of his family. Life really is fragile and you never know what each day will bring. I am sharing the message we received from his parents through our online support group, his obituary, and a precious photo. Please take a moment today to pray for this family and all children affected by Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. We hope the Schurke Family finds the comfort and support they will need in the weeks and months to come.

Hi Cdls family.
I have not been as active in the group as I used to be ,but felt I needed to share our grief with you.
Our son Nicholas Toffer Schurke age 4 passed away while sleeping on our couch last evening(11/20) .
We are unsure of the cause, but know that he was not feeling well as he was napping quite a bit and just not himself. We thought he was just getting his usual winter cold that usually lasts a few days and has him acting the way he was. I was holding him minutes before he passed away. I had layed him down to finish supper and relized he wasn't snoring like when I had left him. Only minutes had passed, but he was not breathing and after my CPR and 30min with the EMT's Chris and I decided it was time to let Nick rest.
I have cried alot and just when I think I am done another wave comes or another loved one calls and it starts all over again.
We will have a service in Minneapolis on Tues afternoon with burial in Ely on Wed moring.
I thank everyone for all the advice and support we have received through the years. It was a rewarding, but challenging honor to have Nicky as our son. He has changed our family in more ways than we can count.

Sarah and Chris
mom to Angel Nick 4yr and Logan 1yr

Nicholas Toffer Schurke, 4, of Zumbrota
The Republican Eagle
Published Monday, November 24, 2008
Nicholas Toffer Schurke, 4, of Zumbrota, died Thursday at his home. Born March 6, 2004, in Duluth, Minn., to Christopher and Sarah (Wetzel) Schurke, he grew up in Zumbrota and was attending preschool in Zumbrota. He enjoyed watching loud bands in parades, paging through books and taking rides in his stroller and red wagon.

Survivors include his parents Christopher and Sarah Schurke of Zumbrota; one brother, Logan; paternal grandparents Roger and Merryl Schurke of Andover, Minn.; maternal grandparents Thomas and Rebecca Wetzel of Ely, Minn.; paternal great-grandmother, Lois Schurke of Minneapolis; maternal great-grandparents Howard and Lil Olson of Fargo, N.D., and Arn and Lee Wetzel of Wells, Minn. He was preceded in death by paternal great-grandparents G. Roger Schurke and John and Jean Koehler.

Funeral will be 1 p.m. today at Oak Haven Church, 1555 Constance Blvd. N.E., Ham Lake, Minn., with the Revs. Tim Walker and Tim Cook officiating. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Ely Cemetery, Ely, Minn. Visitation will be one hour before the service today at the church. Pallbearers will be his uncles, Jay and John Wetzel and Chris and Nate Schurke. Memorials are preferred to Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation, 302 W. Main St. Suit 100, Avon, CT 06001, info@cdlsusa.org. Arrangements are with the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Larson Chapel in Zumbrota.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge - What are you thankful for?

Our CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge for today:
As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, take a moment to reflect on what you are thankful for and post it on your blog.

I have been thinking about this a lot today. There are many, many things I am thankful for and our lives are full of many blessings. We have tons of reasons to be thankful this holiday season and this challenge gives me a chance to reflect on these things and fully appreciate our lives. It gives me a reminder to be grateful for all the little things that we sometimes take for granted.

1. I am thankful for my children, my husband, and our entire family.
2. I am thankful for our friends and neighbors.
3. I am thankful that my children, my husband, and myself are all healthy.
4. I am thankful that even though things are tough sometimes, we try to find the bright side of a situation.
5. I am thankful for my dishwasher.
6. I am thankful to wake up every day and see the beautiful faces of my children.
7. We went to a high school football awards banquet tonight. It honored the senior players and reflected on their high school years. I am thankful that John is only a freshman and we will still have him with us for a few more years.
8. I am thankful for naps (when I get to take one!)
9. I am thankful that we will be warm this winter.
10. I am thankful we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food in our tummies. There are so many people who do not have these things.
11. I am thankful for all the people who make such a great difference in Joey's life every day. I am thankful that they care so much about him.
12. I am thankful for all of our CdLS family and friends. I am grateful that they are there to give us joy, comfort and support.
13. I am thankful that I have little hands to hold.
14. I am thankful for each step of progress that Joey makes.
15. I am thankful for all the accomplishments all the children make. I am thankful that I am here to enjoy these moments with them.
16. I am thankful for comfy shoes.
17. I am thankful for sunshine, a warm breeze, and the smell of fresh cut grass.
18. I am thankful for tiny hugs, sloppy kisses and when my children tell me they love me. I am thankful I am able to tell them I love them too.
19. I am thankful for books to read and music to listen to. I am thankful to be able to read the words and hear the songs.
20. I am thankful for the memories I have and the memories I have to look forward to.
21. I am thankful for Nick Jr. and Noggin (keeps the kiddos entertained!)
22. I am thankful to be able to have a good laugh, a good cry, and a good night's sleep.
23. I am thankful for peanut M&M's.
24. I am thankful for garage sales.
25. I am thankful for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

What are some things you are thankful for? For more CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge participants, click here.

Note to Jill and Justine: Red pickles are something that we have had on special occasions since I was a kid. My aunts make them and this year my mom's been saving a jar for Thanksgiving sent from my aunt in Minnesota. They are red, I think colored with red candies, and they don't taste like regular pickles. They have a great flavor that I can't really describe. I was a young kid the last time I helped anyone make them so I can't recall all the details but they are good, good, good! I will find a post a recipe sometime. :o)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas questions just in time for Thanksgiving....

Happy Friday! Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your family and friends. I originally got this in an email and thought it would be a fun idea for a blog post. Feel free to play along and make your own blog post ~ tag, you're it!
One rule is to try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Okay, here's the questions I answered:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both ~ I like to have presents wrapped but if I'm pressed for time I will throw them in a gift bag
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial
3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving although this year we might have to have a smaller version sitting on the table or somewhere because I just know that Joey's favorite pastime will be trying to knock the tree down! LOL
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime within the week after Christmas
5. Do you like eggnog? No
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I loved my roller skates!
7. Hardest person to buy for? My son John ~ 15 is a hard age to buy for!
8. Easiest person to buy for? Joey ~ as long as it plays music and comes in a box he can play with he's content! :o)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes ~ Precious Moments
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail ~ I still put my faith in the good old USPS
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Shawn gave me some silverware and plastic bowls one year. Useful? Yes. Fun? Not so much.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase rocks!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The week before
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Red pickles
16. Lights on the tree? yes
17. Favorite Christmas song! What Child Is This?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Let's see...You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall ~ the most famous reindeer of all?! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny... sorry ~ the only way I can ever remember all the reindeer is to go through that song! ;o)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Shawn and I and the kids open presents on Christmas morning.
22 . Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Too many people everywhere I try to shop!! And I hate being cold!! (It was 8 degrees when I took the kids to school this morning. Brrrrr!!!!)
23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? Our tree gets decorated with ornaments the kids have made and other sentimental ornaments.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? My mother-in-law makes prime rib for Christmas Eve. Yum, Yum!!
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace and good will towards men. And oh yeah, a new camera and a huge trash can to put our garbage in when we take it outside. ;o)

What Is That Anyway? Answer Day!

Answer Day is here! For What Is That Anyway? Part 3 this week I had decided to take some pictures of outside things since the pictures I had posted the previous couple of weeks were a little blurry. But next week I might have to revert back to my sly, cheating ways because all of you that guessed got 2 correct and we have one champion that guessed all 3 pictures correctly! Congrats to Natalie ~ this was her first time playing along and she managed to get them all right! Way to go! I figured a lot of people would get the 2nd and 3rd pictures correct but thought maybe I would stump you with picture #1.
No, it's not playground equipment or a fence...

It's a red park bench!

And of course all of you knew this was a fire hydrant...

And a close up shot of some bark on a very large tree...

Thanks to all who played along ~ hope you had fun! I will try to come up with some mind boggling shots for next week ~ maybe I will do a Thanksgiving theme week. You will have to come back to find out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday ~ What Is That Anyway? Chapter 3

Holy cow! I can't believe it's time for another stimulating round of What Is That Anyway? Is it just me or are the weeks going by way too fast? Last week, we had two people get 2 out of 3 pictures correct and most of the rest of you got 1 correct ~ remember the beautiful tomato? If you are joining us for the first time, What Is That Anyway? is fun and easy to play. All you have to do is study the pictures provided, leave your guesses in the comment section, and visit us again on Thursday to find out the answers! Come on ~ play along! It's very exciting! ;o) Here are the pictures for this week:

Ready to guess? I've decided to be a big old meany this week and not give any clues. I know, I know, that doesn't seem fair but I have a feeling a lot of you will get these correct this time around. The middle picture is especially easy if you ask me. So go ahead ~ give it a whirl! Have fun and good luck!

For more Special Exposure captures, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.
For Wordless Wednesday fun, take a peek at MomDot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bookworm Award...

Jill over at Jill's Believe It Or Not has passed on this terrific Bookworm Award to me. Thank you very much Jill! I must confess that yes I am a bookworm and love, love, love to read. I always have a book going but unfortunately the only time I get to read is in the bathroom. ;o) Sometimes I will go into the bathroom, lock the door and sit on the side of the tub just to get in some reading time. Please don't give away my secret to my husband or the kiddos! :o) It is pretty much impossible to even get a glimpse of the newspaper around here let alone sit in a comfy chair and read. Maybe someday!

Anyway, the rules for this award are fun:
Pass this on to 5 blogging friends.
Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
Write the 5Th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.

The closest book to me right now is sitting on the computer desk and is titled Just Shy of Harmony by Philip Gulley. I brought it home from my mom's house on Saturday. It is not the book I am currently reading but plan to start it as soon as I can. It is the second book in a series ~ the first being titled Home to Harmony. These books are about a young pastor and his family who come back to his hometown of Harmony to preach to the congregation he grew up in. The first book was very humorous and had a lot of great characters. I am eagerly anticipating reading this second one. Here is the fifth sentence from page 56:

"Sometimes when their hips are touching, the stirrings unsettle him and he'll slide away."

"Deena notices but isn't sure what to make of it. Wayne puzzles her. All the other men she ever dated had one thing on their minds. But not Wayne. Though she appreciated his manners, she does wonder just how much he likes her."

Okay ~ now to pass this fun award onto 5 blogging friends:

Misty @ A Day in My Life
Heidi @ God's Grace in Practice
Sandi @ Life with Jessica
Delanie @ The Hudcaps
Natalie @ The Rieck's

Congrats gals! Have fun passing along the Bookworm Literary Award!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge: Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

Blog Challenge: Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

Share your favorite Thanksgiving recipe and post it (along with a photo if you'd like) on your blog.

For this challenge, I decided to share a recipe for Cranberry Ice. This is a traditional Thanksgiving favorite in our family. We've been having it every year for Thanksgiving (and Christmas too!) ever since I can remember. Years ago when I was a little girl, I recall my Great Aunt Edith making this delicious treat and it is always something I looked forward too. If you've never had it please give it a try. It is yummy, yummy, yummy!

Cranberry Ice:

2 c. cranberries
few grains salt
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. water

Wash cranberries. Remove stems. Add water. Cover and cook until cranberries are tender. Rub through sieve. Add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Cool, cover and put in freezer. Makes 8 servings. We usually top it with Cool Whip. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Riedmiller Review....

Happy Saturday! I feel a little guilty ~ there are so many fun blog games, tags,and memes to keep me busy, not to mention keeping up with all my blogger friends, that it occured to me this morning that I haven't shared a lot of pictures of the kids for awhile. I would like to give a little recap of some happenings in our house and show off the kiddos a tiny bit. This way I can keep track of things too when I am having one of my senior moments. Now if I can just remember some interesting tidbits. Hmmmmmm....let's see......
1. Well, my clothes dryer broke about a week and a half ago so the inside of the house looks like a clothesline. It's great! It's way too cold here to hang anything outside so I hang it all over the house and Viola! two days later the stuff is dry! It's like magic! My husband seems to think he can fix it himself so I currently have various dryer parts laying around in the basement. I'll let you know if he accomplishes the task this weekend.
2. If you read my post a couple days ago, you know about Joey's adventure to the eye doctor. I won't elaborate any more than that. I think I've finally recovered. He is scheduled for a tear duct probe in January. He also got a brand spankin' new walker on Thursday! One of his very own! It is very similiar to the one we've been borrowing from therapy and he took right to it. He uses it mostly at school and is doing great with it. Go Joey!
3. I got pulled over by the fuzz the other day. Not for anything too major ~ one of them happened to get behind me and saw that the license plate was expired. Ooopsie! The plates expired in October and we completely spaced out about it. It wasn't until I got pulled over and the thoughts of what am I doing wrong were racing through my head that I remembered the plates. I got a fix it ticket and you'll be happy to know our van now has current plates again.
4. John started basketball practice on Friday. His two week break between football and basketball is officially over. On to the next sport!
5. Tommie passed a weight lifting class at the YMCA so he now likes to go lift weights and shoot baskets. His club basketball team will start practice next week and the middle school season will begin in January.
6. Emma and Abbie are growing up way too fast. They sure have some interesting conversations. Abbie's current favorite phrase is "Don't talk to me, Emma!"
7. It is cold, cold, cold here in the sticks!
8. Shawn & I run around like chickens with our heads cut off about 3/4 of the time with the exception of when we are sleeping. Someone usually wants something, needs to go somewhere, be brought home from somewhere, or has broken something. Chaos is the general rule in this house.
9. Joey is having a blast dragging wet clothes around the house! :o)
10. Did I mention it is cold outside?!?!

There you have it ~ an update from the Riedmiller household. What grand, exciting lives we lead! And now, as promised, a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Joey's first trip to the eye doctor....

When I revealed the answers to this week's edition of What Is That Anyway? in an earlier post today, I said I would blog about Joey's first trip to the eye doctor on Wednesday. So here is our adventure as promised! :o)

Well, although Joey is 4 1/2 years old now and has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, we have never had too much cause to take him to an eye doctor. When he was at the Children's Developmental Clinic in Omaha this summer, the doctor there decided it was time for him to see one as he has struggled with watery, mattery, stuck shut in the morning eyes off and on since he was born. Several opinions have stated that he has clogged tearducts and will need a tearduct probe at some point. His right eye has managed to correct itself but he still has problems with the left eye. Sometimes it is worse than others and looks really sore. This is when we use his eyedrops which is something he hates almost as much as going to the doctor. Anyway, the day turned out to be everything I thought it would be ~ a wealth of whining, crying, and complaining and I knew Joey would be fussy too. :o) Author's note to author's husband: This is the last time I will take Joey to any type of doctor's appointment by myself ~ I'm sure some kind soul out there will volunteer to watch the girls so we can take him together ;o} The first sign of trouble was when about 10 miles out of town Joey decides to do a little stinky in his diaper. I'm thinking okay, surely he's way tired from going to school and he will fall asleep and I can change him when we get there ( I know, bad mommy!!) but this is not the way the plan goes. Joey gets very irritated with me and so I figure I better pull over and change him. This, my friends, was not an easy task. Sometimes Joe will be very good for a diaper change and sometimes not. This was one of the sometimes not times.
Laying him on the car seat and attempting to change his diaper on a country road turned into an all star wrestling match with Joey cleary getting the best of his much larger opponent. After about a 15 minute struggle, I come out victorious ~ getting Joey in a fresh diaper and back in his car seat and getting all the poop wiped up from places poop should probably not be. With this setback I realize that we will most likely be late for the appointment. Great. Our journey continues without any more incidents ~ Joey falls asleep thankfully because he is not the greatest traveler. We have travel time of about 1 1/2 hours to get to Omaha and when we get there I am unable to find the place. Also great. So I call the office and ask for better directions and finally arrive about 20 minutes late. Even greater. There are papers to fill out, insurance cards to show and in the meantime Joey commences to tear apart the waiting room. Two of his favorite activities are climbing on things and knocking things over which does not work well in places that are not "Joey proof". We finally get called to the exam room where you guessed it ~ we wait some more. There are some light switches on the front of the counter that Joey starts to play with (this is also another one of his favorite activities) so I let him because at least he is not knocking anything over. When the doctor comes in, we happen to be in the dark. The doctor is in there for all of 5 minutes and says the nurse will put in some drops to dilate his eyes then we have to wait 20 minutes for that to take effect. So I practically have to put a choke hold on Joey for the nurse to be able to put the drops in his eyes. Then back to the waiting room we go. And I know it was longer than 20 minutes before they called us back in. By this time I am frustrated with the whole situation and tired of spinning in circles trying to keep Joey away from everything he shouldn't be messing with. At least we got back into the room where the light switches are located that he can play with again. Now when the doctor comes back in we visit a little about Joey and his eye problems and I get to try to hold him again while the doc shines some ultraviolet light in his little face. No dice ~ he is fighting me too much. In come the reinforcements. It takes two nurses and myself to hold Joey, and the guy still wasn't able to get that good of a look in his eyes although he got to look long enough to determine that the next step is having a tearduct probe. Okay, fine. This is what I was expecting to hear. So we get ushered into an office to schedule the procedure. There are all kinds of goodies Joey can knock down and break and throw. The gal kindly says there are some toys in a box on the shelf that he can play with. The box consists of Happy Meal toys that hold no value with Joey. So back to keeping him away from everything else. Now I hope I don't sound like I am complaining too much here ~ I love that Joey can climb and play and move as fast as lightning ~ but I will admit in situations like this it is difficult to deal with. Oh, and I had long ago exhausted my supply of snacks and toys I brought from home. Joey is all about explore, explore, explore ~ which is a good thing ~ in certain situations. Well, we manage to get the probe scheduled but not until January. With the holidays coming up the doc's schedule is full until after the first of the year. So we will have to deal with the stuck shut eyes for another couple months. I just pray his vision is good so he won't have to wear glasses. There is no way he would ever keep glasses on his face. Joey's next appointment is on December 4th with a urologist. Any takers?

What Is That Anyway? Answers Revealed!

Here are the results of this week's What Is That Anyway?

There were lots of good guesses on this one! All close but no correct answer! It's not a poster, or a book, or a soft toy ~ but it is a toy of sorts.

It's a puzzle!

Now the guesses for this one were very imaginative. There were 2 people that guessed correctly ~ cheers to them! Some of the guesses were light fixture, suction cup, robot toy, shower head, and a marble candlestick. To me the picture is obvious, but of couse I knew what it was. :0) My hubby didn't know what it was either and it's something he looks at all the time without even knowing it I guess!
Take another good look:

It is a pencil sharpener!
I won't bother with suspense on the last one because all of you knew it was the inside of a tomato although there was one who guessed grapefruit.

I hope you guys had a good time guessing ~ I will try to come up with some real stumpers for next week! Sorry I didn't get a lot of the other SEW/WW participants blogs visited yesterday but I had to take Joey to an eye doctor appointment in Omaha. I will blog about how much fun that was later today. Thanks for visiting us and playing along!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday ~ What Is That Anyway? Part 2

Since a lot of you had fun last week with our first round of What Is That Anyway? I decided to try it again this week and see how it goes. Of the people that did guess last week, no answers were correct. You were stumped! That makes the score Home~1, Visitors~0 for those of you keeping track. ;0) I am posting 3 pictures this time to add to the fun! Here are the pics for this week:

I know they are slightly blurry but that is my way of cheating! LOL Just kidding ~ you will have to bear with me until I hopefully get my hands on a new camera sometime soon. Now, all you have to do is leave your guesses in the comment section and tune back in Thursday when I reveal the answers! I suppose I should give a clue since I did last week so here it is: These items were all found in our house. Great clue ~ right? I bet there will be a lot of correct answers for Part 2 ~ I can't wait to find out! Good luck!
For more Special Exposure and Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge

Here is our CdLS Blog Challenge Topic for today:

I have noticed that many people want to be helpful to families with a child with special needs, but don't know what to do. Sometimes we don't know what to ask for either.
Tell us about the most helpful things people have done for you. In retrospect, have you had someone trying to be helpful, but it ended up not being helpful at all?

One of the hardest things I've had to do over the last 4 1/2 years is to learn to ask for help from others. And fortunately, when I have gathered the courage to ask someone for help, they respond well and are eager to do whatever they can. I know a lot of our friends and family wonder what they can do to help Joey and I try to make it easier for them by letting them know what Joey's wants and needs are. I also try to make sure everyone is informed about CdLS so they feel more comfortable around Joey. I can feel a sense of relief as if people are saying "Oh good, she told me what I can do to help Joey and the family so now that's what I'm going to do. I don't have to wonder about it anymore." The most helpful thing to me is for people to accept Joey for who he is, and not to feel sorry for him or our family. He is such a blessing in our lives and I wouldn't change a thing about him. It is important for people to understand what a crucial part of our family he is. We learn from him every day, and he learns from us. I know our other children are especially benefiting from Joey ~ they are learning an important lesson of acceptance. The older boys' friends are very accepting of Joey and I believe it is because we are all open and honest about his condition. Our friends and family and other people in our community are not afraid of Joey or CdLS because of our awareness efforts and our open and honest attitude about everything.
I will share that one of the most helpful things for us right now is having someone come in and care for the girls while I take Joey to his therapy sessions 3 times a week. Our neighbors, Willard and Elsie, come to our home rain or shine and spend time with Emma, Abbie, and my nephew Cooper enabling me to take Joey to therapy without having to haul all of them along. What I would do without them I do not know. The kids love them and I know they are being well taken care of while I am with Joey. So if someone out there is struggling or needs some respite care, don't be afraid to ask. People are willing to help ~ they just need to know how. I also want to mention how helpful all of Joey's therapists are. He goes to a wonderful place called Wiggles & Giggles and he feels right at home. They have all taken him under their wings and are just as proud and excited about his progress as we are. We are grateful every day to have such a wonderful facility and caring staff right here in our own town. I am also thankful for all the help Joey receives through early intervention services. They have made his transition into preschool an easy one. He loves to go to school! We are also very grateful to Joey's primary care physician here in Columbus and all the wonderful doctors, nurses and other staff at Children's Hospital in Omaha. It is great to know there are so many caring people in this world and they all try to find the best avenue for Joey's care. And I can't forget to mention how helpful the CdLS Foundation and its staff are to us. Without them and all their helpful services and information, our road would be a lot more difficult to travel. So in retrospect, there is help out there for families caring for a child with special needs ~ all you have to do is ask. :o)

Here's Joey ~ peeking out his sister's bedroom window!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Answers I know you want to know...

I stole these questions from Justine, who stole them from Bridget, who stole them from Raxx, who stole them from Chris, who stole them from Sally. Whew! I hope I got that all right! Anyway ~ here are some answers to some questions that may have been bugging you about me. Here you go:

1. Where is your cell phone? In my pocket.

2. Where is your significant other? In the bedroom watching college football on TV.

3. Your hair color? Dark blonde.

4. Your Mother? a hero.

5. Your Father? ill.

6. Your favorite thing? a T-bone steak.

7. Your dream last night? I'm not sure ~ can't remember anything too specific.

8. Your dream goal? I would love to not have to worry about money.

9. The room you're in? Living room.

10. Your hobby? Reading, blogging.

11. Your fear? Something happening to my children.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? I would love to have a bigger house but too soon the kids will start leaving the nest so unfortunately ours will get bigger again.

13. Where were you last night? At my parent's house.

14. What you are not? Thin

15. One of your wish list items? For Joey to walk ~ he is getting closer all the time! Oh ~ and for the heck of it I want a new camera (mine is falling apart!)

16. Where you grew up? A small po-dunk town in Nebraska with a population of less than 2000. Where the teeny boppers are still cruising the same "circuit" my friends and I did 20 years ago.

17. The last thing you did? Put a pork roast and scalloped potatoes in the oven for supper. It's smelling really good right about now!

18. What are you wearing? Black pants and a Nebraska t-shirt. The Huskers played today don't ya know!

19. Your TV? One that my husband bought the year before we got married so you can imagine what it's like. The kids have all the nice stuff!

20. Your Pet? Three kitties ~ Reggie, Blackie and Casey.

21. Your computer? Ummmm...It's a HP. We've had it about 3 years.

22. Your Mood? Tired but happy. Of course I am always tired.

23. Missing someone? I always miss my Grandma Kruse ~ she's been gone 7 years now.

24. Your car? Ford Windstar

25. Something you're not wearing? glasses.

26. Favorite Store? I don't know ~ not much to choose from around here. I do love Barnes & Noble when I get a chance to go to one.

27. Your summer? Went way too fast.

28. Love someone? Yes.

29. Your favorite color? Orange.

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today

31. When was the last time you cried? Gosh ~ I feel like crying lots of times but let's see....last week when we went to a balloon release for some friends whose 14 year old son died from cancer a year ago.

There you are ~ now you can sleep better tonight knowing the answers to these burning questions. Oh, and tomorrow, don't forget to check out my interview over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs. It will be posted at 9 a.m. Go have a peek when you get a chance and let me know what you thought!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The suspense is over!

The moment you've been wating for is finally here! The answer to the picture game What Is That Anyway? is at your fingertips! No ~ it' not a car, or a camera, or a wheel, or an old phone. And no, Delanie, it is not a Big Mac switch. :o) But, as the clue yesterday revealed, it is something that Joey touches every day.

It is one of Joey's keyboards he plays with every day! Gotcha! The game photo is of the upper left hand corner of the piano which shows the pink round thingy. Thanks to all who played along! I had fun anticipating the answers and also waiting to see if I could fool you! Hope you had fun too ~ I think we'll try this again next week on Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday to see if I can stump you again!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday ~ What Is That Anyway?

For my Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday post this week, I thought we'd try a little game. It's called What Is That Anyway? Above you will find a picture of an item in our household. All you have to do is leave a comment about what you think it is. Sounds easy ~ right? And fun ~ right? To find out if you were correct, visit us again on Thursday and I will reveal the answer. I know, I know, the suspense will be completely unbearable! To help you out a little I will give you a clue.
Here it is: This item is something Joey touches every day.

For more Special Exposure Wednesday, click here.
For some Wordless Wednesday fun, click here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween recap

I hope everybody had a safe and Happy Halloween! Did you get lots of candy? The kids did ~ they got way way way too much but a good time was had by all. I managed to get John (a.k.a. Football Head) and Tommie (The Big Cow) to pose for a picture with the crew before they took off for their Halloween parties they had been invited to. And yes, that is Santa that joined us for Trick or Treating this year. He even brought along his own Christmas Tree! Needless to say, we got a lot of honks, hoots and hollers ~ everyone was so happy to see Santa! He was keeping an eye on who was being naughty and nice. We even had a little skunk come and trick or treat at our house! It was quite a festive evening! Saturday found us trick or treating at Granny Lawson's house and who showed up but a cute pink 3-eyed Little Monster! We sure had a great visit! Now it is Monday again already and time to face another week. Hope everyone has a good one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge ~ Where you live....

This week's challenge is to create a photo and/or text blog entry about where you live. It can be about your home, your backyard, your neighborhood or your town. Show off interesting sites, your favorite spots, the local flora and fauna, what you like and don't like about living there.

We live in Columbus, Nebraska. The view on this map gives you an idea of where we are located ~ it takes us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Omaha from here. Unfortunately, we have no huge tourist attractions or anything and I don't know much about the history of the town either. I am just a fountain of information today aren't I? Well, let's see....I can tell you a few things I do know. The population hovers around 20,000 people which may seem small to some people, but it seems large to me as Shawn and I both come from a small town 45 miles west of Columbus called Albion. Albion has a population of around 1700. So you can see there is a big difference. Um...we do have a waterpark, several city parks, and a few baseball complexes. We have two bowling alleys, a putt putt golf course, and three Subways. We have several elementary schools, one public middle school, and three high schools. Um...we have a huge Walmart Supercenter, a new Hyvee store, an Applebee's, and some stores in a row that are classified as our mall. I know, I know, I'll try to hurry this post along so you can all make your next vacation plans to come here. Our house is kind of centrally located in town, about 3 or 4 blocks west of Columbus High School which is convenient since this is the school John goes to. Although he still feels he needs a ride to and from school, or practice, or weightlifting or whatever. We live in a culdesac (not sure if this is spelled correctly) which is nice because when I let the kids play in the street, not too many cars come tearing through. ;o} Our neighbors in our circle are mostly older and their children are grown so Shawn and I are the youngsters around here. You can tell which house is ours by the flat grass and the bizillion toys and bikes in the yard. Yeah ~ our neighbors all love us! :o) I like living here because it is not too big and not too small, although it wold be nice if there were more family attractions. I also like it because from where our house is located, it doesn't take too long to get anywhere. But there are certain times of the day that the traffic is terrible. And we are not too far from Omaha which is where Joey has 99% of his doctor visits and procedures done. We have lived in our home for 16 years this month and it is withstanding our family of seven pretty much okay, although there are lots of things I would love to do with it ~ someday! Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our lives of where we live! Happy Sunday!

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